How To Make Chinese Salt And Pepper Chicken
Crispy fried chicken with chillies and onions, seasoned to perfection. Recreate this popular Chinese salt and pepper chicken at home with this easy fakeaway recipe. Serve with fried rice, noodles or vegetables with a cool cold drink.
When I say salt and pepper chicken taste good, I absolutely mean it. With very few ingredients and minimal prep; you’ll be tucking into this in no time. It’s just so salty, peppery and tasty, it will definitely get your taste buds wanting more and more. Whenever I make this, it’s gone in minutes! It’s just so good you’ll find it hard to share.
Chinese salt and pepper chicken is a takeaway favourite, this fakeaway recipe is my own take on a classic. You’re going to love it; the biggest secret is that it’s not hard to make at all.
Apart from Chinese crispy beef and sweet and sour chicken balls, salt and pepper chicken is one of my go-to fakeaway recipes. With flavours such as garlic, Chinese five spice, chillies and battered chicken, this recipe provides a mouthful of delight. In general, despite how complicated Chinese takeaway recipes seem, they’re actually very easy to make yourself. Here’s how to make salt and pepper chicken at home.
Why Is This Recipe So Good?
Well where do I start?
- This recipe is so easy to make I am not even joking! You can make this recipe in just 30 minutes!
- Not a fan of MSG? No Problem, it’s not included in this recipe.
- You can have your takeaway favourite but without the huge bill!
- A fakeaway recipe to impress anyone. It’s a crowd-pleasing meal, side, starter or party snack.
You do not need any special ingredients to make salt and pepper chicken, most of the ingredients for this recipe you can get at your local supermarket.
- Chicken Thighs: I always use chicken thighs to make homemade salt and pepper chicken, I prefer it to chicken breast. As the chicken is deep fried at high temperatures, it is more likely for chicken breast to dry out.
- Chinese Five Spice: One of the star ingredients of this recipe! Chinese five spice is a spice mix of spices used in predominately Chinese cuisine such as star anise and cinnamon.
- Garlic: Garlic is a flavour powerhouse; it adds a delicious taste to this dish and is so aromatic. Garlic can be found in a lot of Chinese dishes.
- Salt & Black Pepper: Well, it wouldn’t be salt and pepper chicken with salt and pepper! The chicken is marinated in a salt and pepper seasoning mix before being coated in cornflour and then deep fried into crispy bites.
- Chilies: I brought a mix bag of chillies which had both green and red chillies inside. The type of chillies you choose to use is completely up to your preference. You can use hotter chillies if you’re a lover of hot food or if you prefer you can use red and green bell peppers for a really mild dish.
How To Make Salt And Pepper Chicken
Making salt and pepper crispy chicken with this recipe is super easy; It can be reduced down to just three steps. The first is cooking the chicken, followed by frying the vegetables and finally putting the two together. The recipe card at the bottom has detailed instructions and recipe measurements.
In a large mixing bowl add diced chicken thighs, black pepper, salt and Chinese five spice. Mix together until well combined and the seasonings are evenly coating each piece of chicken.
Pour cornflour over a tray or large plate and toss the chicken into the cornflour with a tong or your hands until evenly coated.
Heat a wok or large frying pan with oil over a high heat until hot. Add a few pieces of chicken to the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown on one side. Then turn over and fry for an extra 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the cooked chicken into a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain excess oil. Repeat until all pieces of chicken have been fried.
Add a tbsp of oil to a wok or frying pan on a medium to high heat. Add the garlic, sliced onions, green chillies and red chillies and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes. Add the fried chicken and mix, then add a tablespoon of black pepper and continue to stir until well combined. Serve and enjoy!
What To Serve It With
You can go all out and create a Chinese theme feast with these dishes:
To make this crispy salt and pepper chicken recipe as easy as possible, check out my pro tips below:
- PREP! Cutting your garlic, chillies, onions and dicing your chicken in advance makes this recipe super quick and reduces the prep time. When I know I am making this recipe I’ll chop my ingredients ready the night before.
- If you have time and you’re not in a rush, marinade the chicken in the seasonings for a few hours before frying.
- If you don’t want to fry the chicken, you could bake the chicken in the oven. It’s a healthier option and takes 18-20 minutes to bake at 200°C.
- Try this recipe in a wrap filled with lettuce and sauces of your choice – yum!
- Pick the type of chillies you use in this recipe depending on your heat tolerance. I used mild mixed chillies; you can go hotter if you like. But if you’re not one for a kick of heat then use green and red bell peppers, they’re a great tasty substitute.
To make salt and pepper chicken I used chicken thighs but you can switch the type of chicken used in this recipe.
- Chicken Wings: Follow this recipe but deep fry the chicken wings for 9 to 12 minutes or until fully cooked.
- Chicken Breast: Cut the chicken breast into diced cubes or long strips and continue to follow the recipe. Instead of deep frying the chicken breast, after marinating the chicken (step one), proceed to step 4 and stir fry the salt and pepper chicken with the chillies, garlic and onions for 7 to10 minutes or until fully cooked.
Can I Make This Recipe Ahead
Salt and pepper chicken taste best freshly made, the chicken is so crispy and has a slight crunchy outer coating, that’s why it’s best eaten straightaway.
If you do want to make this recipe ahead, it will still taste great when reheated but wouldn’t be as crispy. After cooking the salt and pepper chicken, leave to cool down and place in a container and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
How Many Calories Are In A Serving Of Salt And Chilli Chicken?
If you’re wondering how many calories are in this Chinese salt and pepper chicken, it’s 406 calories per serving. More nutritional information is on the recipe card. Nutritional information is an approximation.
Can I Freeze Salt and Pepper Chicken?
Yes, this recipe can be frozen! Once cooked, leave to cool down completely before transferring into an airtight container that is suitable for freezing.
When reheating the chicken from frozen; once the chicken has defrosted, heat in the microwave for 5-7 minutes, then stir and heat for a further 5 minutes or until piping hot.
How Long Can You Keep Salt and Pepper Chicken In The Fridge?
Keep salt & pepper chicken in the fridge for up to 2 days stored in a container with a lid.
When reheating the chicken, warm in the microwave (in a microwave proof container) with the lid loosely fitted. Heat for 4-7 minutes or until piping hot and heated throughout.
Crispy Salt And Pepper Chicken
- 60 g Cornflour
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper ( + optional extra tsp)
- 1 tbsp Chinese Five Spice
- 600 g Boneless Chicken Thighs 5-6 pieces
- 200 ml Vegetable Oil
- 2 Red Chillies See Note
- 2 Green Chillies See Note
- 1 Onion
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- Dice the chicken thighs into small bite-sized pieces.
- Add black pepper, salt and Chinese five spice to the diced chicken thighs and mix thoroughly until well combined.
- Pour cornflour over a tray or large plate, with a tong or your hands toss the chicken in the cornflour till all sides are coated.
- Put oil into a pot or wok over a high heat and fry the chicken pieces for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown then turn over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Cook a few chicken pieces at a time, repeat this step until all the chicken pieces have been fried. Place cooked chicken on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- Add 1 tbsp of oil into a clean wok of frying pan, on a medium heat fry the garlic, onions and chillies for 5 minutes then add the fried chicken and mix together. Add the extra tsp of black pepper and mix thoroughly.
- Serve and enjoy!
You could use different type of chillies or use red and green bell peppers instead of chillies. If you love heat, feel free to add more chillies or use even hotter chillies.
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